Jim Rutherford’s final move of the 2020 trade deadline season brought a familiar face home to Pittsburgh, as he flipped forward Dominik Kahun to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for former Penguin and Stanley Cup Champion Conor Sheary, as well as Evan Rodrigues. Kahun was acquired in an offseason trade with the Blackhawks, in which Rutherford sent Olli Maatta to Chicago.
Conor Sheary was an integral piece of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup Championships and the Pittsburgh faithful have appeared to welcome him back with open arms. This is another sneaky good trade for Jim Rutherford in terms of individual AB performance, as Sheary has a +2.03 career AB score in four seasons. His only negative individual season was last season as he registered a career-worst -2.79 score. He had a positive penalty taken/drawn ratio during his time in Buffalo with a 3:8, and in 8 games with Pittsburgh, he currently has a 1:0 ratio. He has solid giveaway/takeaway ratio’s in both cities, as it was a 16:16 ratio in Buffalo and a 2:3 ratio in Pittsburgh. He is -5 on the season combined. In 55 games with the Sabres, he has scored 9 goals, and registered 10 assists for 19 points. In 8 games with Pittsburgh. He has scored 1 goal and registered 3 assists for 4 points. Sheary is 27-years old and makes 3 million per year. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. In Pittsburgh, Sheary is averaging about a minute and a half more ice time than he was in Buffalo under new head coach Ralph Krueger.
Evan Rodrigues is an interesting acquisition by Rutherford as well. In 3 seasons of data, Rodrigues has a +2.06 career AB score. However, he is coming off the worst individual score of his career at +0.32. All of his seasons have been individually positive. He has positive penalty drawn/taken ratios on both teams he’s played for this season, as he had a 5:6 ratio in Buffalo and a 5:2 ratio in Pittsburgh so far. He also has positive giveaway/takeaway ratios in both cities, as he had an 11:12 ratio in Buffalo, and currently has a 2:2 ratio in Pittsburgh. Rodrigues is -8 on the season. In 38 games in Buffalo, he scored 5 goals and registered 4 assists for 9 points. In Pittsburgh, he has 1 goal for 1 point in 7 games. Rodrigues is a 26-year old that currently makes $2 million. He is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1st. Rodrigues was averaging almost 3 fewer minutes of ice time under Ralph Krueger in Buffalo than his previous career average of 13:53. In Pittsburgh under Mike Sullivan, he is averaging even less than that at 11:01.
Since the deadline, the Penguins have been struggling, as they have a 3-7 record in their last 10 games. They currently occupy the 3rd spot in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 40-23-6. The Penguins have 86 points in 69 games. They are coming off a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils last night and will see if they can build off that to finish their season on a strong note. More to come.